Sadly, rumors suggest this model isn't destined for America.
BMW made a splash yesterday in revealing the 738-hp XM Label Red, but it also very quietly updated its site with details on another, less-powerful variant called the BMW XM 50e with a six-cylinder engine.
The XM 50e may share its controversial styling with the more prestigious models in the lineup but utilizes a more sensible 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six plug-in hybrid powerplant that produces 469 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Like the upper trims, power is sent to all four wheels via the slick-shifting eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission.
Zero to 62 mph occurs in 5.1 seconds, which is underwhelming for any modern M car, especially one that is supposed to be a full M car instead of an M Performance derivative. Preliminary WLTP estimates claim the XM 50e can travel 47-51 miles on electric power alone, matching the standard XM's figure.
As standard, the XM 50e receives Adaptive M suspension. Electronically controlled shock absorbers, active stabilizers, and active steering work together to move the big Bimmer through the bends with grace.
At higher speeds, the XM 50e's rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels, which further aids stability. At lower speeds, the rear wheels pivot in the opposite direction which provides greater agility in tight or confined spaces.
As you'd expect, the base XM receives an M Sport differential that improves stability and traction by distributing power between the rear wheels. Customers can tailor the XM 50e to their exact tastes, thanks to the M Setup that allows one to customize the various drive settings.
In terms of style, the entry-level XM 50e receives black exterior accents (thankfully eschewing the vulgar trim of the Label Red) and pairs this with 23-inch M Performance wheels and silver-etched M logos. Curiously, there is no 50e badging anywhere on the exterior, meaning this least-powerful derivative still looks like its more potent siblings.
The illuminated M Kidney grilles won't appeal to most, but it's the right look for the XM's customer base who value in-you-face design and ostentatious detailing. Inside, the sumptuous cabin retains all the high-class fittings and fixtures seen on other models, with BMW noting the 50e derivative will receive an illuminated, sculpted headliner like other XM variants.
It's unlikely BMW will offer the XM 50e locally, and it's expected that it will be available in China, where Aston Martin also sells a six-cylinder DBX unique to that market. However, we have reached out to BMW for comment and will update this article accordingly.
If you had your heart set on an XM, you'll have to spring for the Label Red or the $159,000 XM, which receives a twin-turbocharged V8 engine with 644 horsepower. The range-topper is even more powerful and boasts an incredible 738 ponies and 738 lb-ft of torque. Both V8 models will be built at the Spartanburg facility in North Carolina.
We expect more XM 50e details to arrive in the coming days. If you had your heart set on the six-cylinder XM, perhaps you should consider X7. Available with seven seats, it's a more practical prospect. What's more, the xDrive40i derivative is cheaper at $81,900. It's a no-brainer - to us, at least.
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